The then-18-year-old famously made the switch from Goodison Park to Old Trafford in2004 for a record-breaking £27million.
But it could all have been so different had the cash-strapped Toffees got their way.
Speaking on the UTD Podcast, the current Derby player-coach said: "I knew it [joining United] was an option before Euro 2004.
“I knew Manchester United wanted to sign me. I think going to the Euros, and doing well there, probably added a bit more money on to the transfer fee but I broke my foot and found out a few things.
“Everton were really struggling for money at the time and I found out they were listening to offers from people as well. They were trying to push me to sign for Chelsea because they were going to pay the most money.
"But, once I knew United were interested, I wanted some confirmation that they did want to sign me. Once I knew they did want to sign me, it was the only club [for me]."
Rooney added: “It was a perfect fit for me. United actually wanted to wait a year, until the following year, but then Newcastle came into talks with Everton and with myself.
"I'd gone too far then. I couldn't wait another year, I couldn't stay another year at Everton, so I was prepared to go to Newcastle for that year.
“I spoke to them, we spoke about the salary and what I wanted. [I told them if] I went there and Manchester United came in, they'd have to let me go.
"Newcastle were agreeing to that but obviously, with United, I went back to them and said, if you don't do it now, I'll go to Newcastle with a clause in place. United obviously didn't want me to go there so I came here.
“It was basically whatever Newcastle paid for me, United would have paid a year later."